India and Japan under Specified Skill Worker (SSW) programme will be expanded to cover the agriculture sector in India besides under nursing/caregiving. This was said by Japanese side during the third Joint Working Group (JWG) meeting on SSW in a hybrid format on 2 August in New Delhi. Indian side welcomed the announcement and called for expansion of SSW to other sectors also.
Both sides held discussions on ways to further enhance the implementation of SSW programme by identifying challenges in the existing system and exchanging views on the way forward. Key issues discussed during the meeting included demand-supply matching including the use of digital technology and platforms, raising the number of test centers in India, expanding the sectors of implementation, raising awareness about the SSW programme in India, Japanese language promotion in India, and setting up a framework for programme monitoring. Japanese side announced that in addition to the existing cooperation under nursing/caregiving, SSW will also be expanded to cover the agriculture sector in India.
India and Japan had signed a Memorandum of Cooperation (MoC) on Specified Skilled Worker (SSW) in January 2021 to promote movement of skilled workers, meeting skill and Japanese language requirement, from India to Japan for employment on a contractual basis.
The Indian delegation was led by Anurag Bhushan, Joint Secretary (OIA-I), Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) and Dr. K.K. Dwivedi, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Skill Development & Entrepreneurship (MSDE), and included representatives of National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC). The Japanese delegation was led by Mr. Nakagawa Tsutomu, Assistant Vice Minister, Immigration Services Agency, and comprised representatives from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA), Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare (MHLW), Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF), and Japan Tourism Agency. Officials from respective Embassies also participated.